Q. I read about using milk of magnesia for treating acne. My skin condition is called rosacea. It is a painfully embarrassing problem and no one seems to know what causes it or how to cure it. (W. C. Fields was the most famous rosacea victim and people sometimes assume a red nose is a result of drinking too much.)
The pharmaceutical products my dermatologist prescribed failed to clear up my red bumps. So I tried magnesium sulfate in the form of a warm compress soaked in an Epsom salts solution. This worked beautifully, but nobody is making the rounds telling dermatologists about it.
A. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is an old-fashioned multi-purpose remedy that is sold as a laxative and muscle soak. Why it might work for rosacea is a mystery, but some readers have gotten relief from their redness and breakouts with topical milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide).
Here is one testimonial: “I’m 52 and my acne (actually rosacea) is related to menopausal hormone changes. Since my mid-forties I’ve tried many different prescription and OTC treatments. I like milk of magnesia the best and it’s by far the least expensive. I put MofM on my face at bedtime and by morning my skin looks better.”